Disclaimer:I don't own the Teen Titans. I only own my OC, John Smith

Sunset. The light painted Jump City golden, and turned the bay into a sea of sparkling silver. Titans' Tower was starkly silhouetted against the setting sun. A gentle breeze ran through my hair and I closed my eyes, enjoying it. I couldn't remember ever being that relaxed or calm.

I felt her presence, but didn't open my eyes. Her aura was distinctive; I had long ago grown accustomed to it.

"Greetings, sensei." I whispered. "It is an honor to see you again."

"Of course it is." replied Lady Shiva and sat next to me, her legs dangling off the rooftop.

"What brings you here?" I asked, eyes still closed.

"You. I came to check on your progress."

"Ah." I sighed. "I knew I had forgotten something."

"What is that, Apprentice?"

"Your wishes, sensei." I replied. "I am afraid I disappointed you."

She laughed and I opened my eyes. Lady Shiva's laughs were rare. She smiled quite often, as a predator will, displaying its fangs, but a laugh such as this, full of mirth, I had only heard from her once: when I had tackled myself to the ground during training.

"You think I'll be disappointed because you didn't kill Slade?" she asked, and I stared. "I know, Apprentice. I've been watching you. In truth, at first I thought you wouldn't manage. Too much flourish and beating around the bush. And what about that love/hate thing you've got with that Titan witch? But in the end…" she looked at me and I saw pride in her eyes. "…in the end you proved yourself worthy of my time. That paralyzing torture you put Slade through was a stroke of genius! You defeated and humiliated him; even if he recovers, he will never be so damn cocky again. But most of all, you proved you're not afraid to hurt someone's mind; and that is the ultimate victory. I am actually pleased, Apprentice."

I shuddered.

"Sensei…" I stammered. "…somehow, this eulogy, coming from you makes me feel worse for what I did.

She laughed again.

"I know that too, Apprentice. I'm not saying we are alike. I'm just saying that we might have been alike: that you have potential. I am aware that you do not wish to follow in my footsteps. In truth, I don't really care. I'm just glad I didn't waste my time training an unworthy fighter."

We sat there, in silence, for a minute or two.

"You are going to be a superhero, correct?" she finally asked.

"Superhero-for-hire." I corrected her.

"Same thing." she said, a little disdainfully. "Why? To impress her?"

"Partly." I admitted.

She snorted.

"Well, you can start by getting a decent superhero suit." she stated, matter-of-factly. "I know you like jeans, and they're quite decent, but you'll need…work clothes. Have you thought of a name yet?"

"'Wraith'." I answered. "And what's wrong with jeans?"

"They don't stop bullets." she replied, rummaged in her pockets and produced a visit card. "Go to this lady, and tell her I've sent you. She'll know what to do."

I pocketed the card, without really looking at it. She got up.

"What are you going to do now, sensei?" I asked.

"There is a much promising young man called Tim Drake, living in Gotham." she replied. "I might take him up as Apprentice."

"I wish you-and him-the best of luck."

"Luck has nothing to do with anything." she said, smiling in her predatory way. "You should know that at least by now, Apprentice. So long."

And without further ado she jumped off the roof. I didn't move. For a while I stared at empty space. Then I took out the card she had given me. It read simply:


followed by an East Coast address. Fine. I'd give this 'E' person a call. I placed the card back inside my pocket and looked up again.

Titans' Tower.

"Oh, I don't know, sensei." I said with a grin. "I consider myself a very lucky man…"

Teen Titans-The Wraith Chronicles

Part one-Smoke and Mirrors


A/N: The end, everybody. Whooohooo! I made it:-)

(Bows very, very deeply.) Many thanks to all my reviewers. As you probably know by now, this was my first fic, and I would have despaired if it weren't for you. I am especially grateful to the 'faithful Trinity': VampiricVanity, Ghostalker andWorldreaver Prime, who were there for most of the fng chapters, always supporting, always encouraging. Many thanks also to XcrimsonroseXlost prince, Devilchild93, kayleigh, Xaleria andZarola.

I know the cartoon Robin is based a bit on all comic Robins, but I couldn't resist splitting Grayson and Drake. As comic-lovers probably know, Tim Drake was indeed trained by Lady Shiva, who also instructed him in bo-staff fighting. And since I'm planning on making the switch from Robin to Nightwing in the sequel, I thought that splitting the Robins would not be that bad…

I've already started work on the sequel, but it'll take some time, as I've said before. I'll upload the first chapter, though, as a 'teaser'. It can probably hold its own as a one-shot. It's about Wraith getting his super-suit. I couldn't resist writing a small crossover.

I am aware that some people search only for 'complete' stories. It's also what I generally do. If this is the case, and you are reading this, review, please! Even if this story is complete, I would VERY much appreciate any comments and suggestions. I can only learn and improve my writing through feedback.

Thanks in advance!

-Phaethon out.